Julie Bishop
Julie Bishop Cade Mooney

Julie Bishop plays key role in the Syria talks

FOREIGN Minister Julie Bishop took a lead role in international negotiations over the conflict in Syria during the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Tuesday.

In the first of seven days of high-level talks, Ms Bishop met with leaders from Papua New Guinea and Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa.

Ms Bishop said while the Coalition's new border protection stand was discussed, the meeting covered issues "much broader" than the controversial policy.

She said she would also be talking with government officials from Japan, South Korea and China to progress the slow-moving negotiations on free trade agreements.

But top of the agenda for Ms Bishop and the rest of the UN would be the Syrian conflict, particularly the recent chemical weapons attack.

Ms Bishop will play a key role in the Syria talks, after Australia was designated head of the UN Security Council earlier this year.

She said the agenda would focus on what the international community could do to secure and eliminate chemical weapons in Syria.

"Secondly, the humanitarian effort in Syria. Australia is taking the lead in finding a resolution, hopefully, for some further humanitarian aid for the conflict in Syria," she told reporters.

"But also, the overall political solution and urging other nations to come together for a Geneva II conference."

Ms Bishop said Australia would be presenting submissions to the general assembly on both nuclear disarmament and to progress an international treaty on small arms.

It is understood those two motions would be presented during meetings on Tuesday NY time, early Wednesday morning, (AEST).

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